Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts How To Get Out Of Debt

I Owe the Place I Got Married. I Think They Are Going to Sue Me. – Ashley

“Dear Steve,

I owe the company where i got married about 2,000 dollars, i know its a small amount but right now its harder than ever to come up with even a small portion of that. My husband just recently went back to work after being ill for about 9 months and things are really tough right now. I cant get a loan anywhere and im terrified of going to court, ive never been! I just recently recieved 2 letters in the mail from 2 different law offices saying i have 20 days to file a written but they were basically offering their services should i choose to hire a lawyer, other than that, i have not been served papers with a set court date or anything and have not been contacted by anyone in regards to this debt i owe, what do i do? wait for my papers? Please help im terrified!

Ashley”

Dear Ashley,

First off, I know this is easy for me to say, but take a deep breath. The fear of the unknown is what scares most. Don’t let this terrify you. It is what it is.

You really only have a few real logical options here.

  1. You can pay the debt.
  2. You can come to some payment agreement with the place to repay your debt.
  3. You could always filed bankruptcy but admittedly it is a small balance due.
  4. You can let them sue you and they will probably go for a judgment and maybe a wage garnishment. That really depends on what state you live in.

It sounds like a case might have already been filed against you. Call your local county court house and ask them to lookup your name to see if there is anything there.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

Sincerly,
Steve

You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

3 Comments

  • well its official, they have sued me and now the amount is triple the original amount, which is now 5700. i just recieved my papers 2 days ago, but there is no court date stated anywhere, it just basically says that they are suing me for 5700 and that i have 20 days to write back, but there is no court date listed anywhere in the documents. Am i supposed to have court date or does that come later after the 20 days from when i recieved these documents? help!

    • you have been served, you need to respond. after you respond a court date will be set, and you will be notified of the date. if you fail to respond a default judgement will be entred aganst you, and that will give your creditor the authority to ask the courts to seize any money in your bank accounts, put a lien on any property you own and garnish your wages.

      the best option for you is to file a response. this is a little more complicated than it seems, as you cannot simply state your side, or that you have no money, you must raise an affirmative defense. google affirmative defenses to debt lawsuits and see what applies to you. if you had any misgivings about how they handled your wedding, anything they said they would do but failed to do, then you could claim breach of contract. if you do not raise an affirmative defense, then you will lose. also dispute the amount owed. was it a written or verbal contract? if it was written and you can prove mow much you have paid already, then you can demostrate that this figure is incorrect. if it was a verbal contract then it is really your word against theirs, but that could work in your favor here.

      after you have filed your answer, you should try to contact their lawyer and see if they would be interested in a payment plan. if they extract money from you with assistance from the court, then they will have to pay commission to the court, but if you pay them directly, before a judgement is entered, then they can potentially get more. explain to them that if you cannot work with them to avoid getting a judgement, then you will be forced to file bankrupcy.

      do you have other debts? if you are struggling to pay credit cards and other debts, think about bankrupcy. a judgemtn is about as bad as a bankrupcy, so you may as well just do that.

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